The participation of non-member States in Council of Europe conventions
Reply to Recommendation
| Doc. 13601
| 16 September 2014
- Committee of Ministers
at the 1206th meeting of the MInisters’ Deputies (10 September 2014). 2014 - Fourth part-session
- Reply to Recommendation
- : Recommendation 2029
The Committee of Ministers has carefully
examined Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 2029 (2013) on “The
participation of non-member States in Council of Europe conventions”.
This is a subject that has been extensively examined by the Committee
of Ministers on the basis of a report prepared by the Secretary
General on the review of Council of Europe conventionsNote
has led to the adoption of decisions by the Committee.
With respect to the recommendations made by the Assembly in
paragraphs 2.1 and 2.2, the Committee of Ministers points out that,
in its decisions on the review of Council of Europe conventions,
it agreed to provide, in cases where there is no convention-based
body including all the Parties, for participation, with a right
to vote, by non-member States in part of steering committee or ad
hoc committee meetings pertaining to the conventions to which those
States are Parties.Note
The Committee of Ministers notes that non-member States may
acquire observer status with an intergovernmental committee in charge
of the follow-up of a convention, in pursuance of the applicable
rules on intergovernmental committees and subordinate bodies, their
terms of reference and working methods.Note
with paragraph 8.b of this resolution, any such State having an
interest in following the work of an intergovernmental committee
can submit a request to be admitted as an observer to the committee.
As a general rule, the decision to allow the participation of non-member
States as observers to intergovernmental committees is taken by
the Committee of Ministers by a two-thirds majority of all the representatives
entitled to sit on it.
4. The Committee of Ministers recalls that observer status would
entitle the non-member State to participate, without the right to
vote, in the intergovernmental work relating to the amendment of
any such instrument.
5. Concerning the proposal to conclude prior to accession, bilateral
arrangements or memoranda of understanding with a non-member State
preparing to accede, it should be noted that there is no legal basis
for requiring the conclusion of such arrangements/memoranda of understanding.
Moreover, the process of conducting the necessary negotiations leading
to the conclusion of such agreements would require considerable
resources and would risk being cumbersome. This may also deter non-member
States from participating and thus would run counter to the objective
to attract them. Furthermore, the Committee of Ministers recalls
its Resolution CM/Res(2013)7 in which it agreed that any Contracting
Party to a Council of Europe convention providing for a follow-up
mechanism, which is covered by the Organisation’s budget which is
not a member of the Council of Europe shall be invited to make a
financial contribution to the said convention in keeping with the
arrangements laid down in this resolution when it participates as
of right in the follow-up mechanism of the convention.
6. Following the adoption of the resolution, any non-member State
expressing an interest to be invited to accede to a Council of Europe
convention foreseeing a follow-up mechanism is informed by the Secretariat
of the financial implications of such accession, as foreseen in
Resolution CM/Res(2013)7. This information is also provided when
the Committee of Ministers’ decision to invite such a State to accede
to the relevant Council of Europe convention is communicated to
7. With respect to future Council of Europe conventions, it should
be noted that in its decisions on the review of Council of Europe
conventions, the Committee of Ministers agreed “when participation
in a convention by non-member States is envisaged during the drafting
procedure, on the need to insert a provision on financial contributions
from those States”. Such a provision would constitute a legal basis
for requesting a financial contribution from non-member States.
8. Finally, the Committee of Ministers notes that in any event
non-member States retain the possibility of contributing financially
on a voluntary basis, as is already the case for certain conventions,
for instance with respect to specific activities carried out in
the implementation of the convention to the benefit of the contributing State.